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Women To Watch: Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani With Isabel Toledo

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- For this stylish edition of Women To Watch, Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani tracked down uber talented and prolific fashion designer, Isabel Toledo.

Michelle Obama's 2009 Inauguration dress and coat cemented designer Isabel Toledo's place in history. She was not an overnight sensation. Toledo has been an innovative fashion force for over 30 years.

From the historic outfit that Michelle Obama wore to the Inauguration, to her collection for Lane Bryant, Isabel Toledo knows how to dress a woman, all women.

When it comes to the outfit seen around the world, Isabel says, "It opened doors. Here I am doing Lane Bryant. This is an amazing opportunity and it really was all due to the first lady. She believed in picking me to dress her which was amazing. She's worn my clothes before that. She knew the work. I feel lucky and proud."

But What is Toledo's secret to success and happiness? Changing things up. Her collection for Lane Bryant is living proof. It's not your typical stretchy plus size designs. Isabel Toledo for Lane Bryant is flawlessly cut and tastefully designed.

"Tailoring is particular, so I really wanted to do that at Lane Bryant and they've given me that opportunity. I'm cutting into the fabrics and they're making beautiful garments," said Toledo.

Fashion is Toledo's first language.

"It's how I speak. As a sculptor would use their materials, for me fabric, women, dressing the form is something that I need to do constantly. I think in movements of cloth. I think constantly the space between a woman and a garment," said Toledo.

Watch Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani's interview with Isabel Toledo

Her greatest influence is her husband, Ruben Toledo.

"I watch his movements. I mimic the lines, his cunning. He's a great inspiration to me. I'm married to an artist. I have a gift," said Toledo.

They have been partners in love, life and business for 30 years. What's their secret?

"Trusting each other and liking one another. Love is one thing but you better like each other," said Toledo.

Dashing Ruben Toledo jumped in saying, "I'm crazy madly in love with her. Even when I don't like her and I want to strangle her, love trumps out. I'm a sucker for that. She melts me." Isabel's response? "What more can I ask for?"

Brilliance and humility are a rare duet.

"We love America," said Toledo. "We're good Cubans. We know what it's given us. It's a country of opportunities and that's important."

In a lightening round of questions, typically asked to all women featured in Gilani's Women to Watch, answered without hesitation; I am, "happy to be here." I will, "listen to you," I won't, "take what I don't want out of the listening," I promise, "I don't promise," and I wish, "for peace."

"I love her clothes and her philosophy: Amuse and confuse," said Gilani.

"Indeed," said Toledo. "Amuse and confuse."

"Done and done," said Gilani.

For more on Isabel Toledo, visit her Facebook page by clicking here.


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